Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: How to Create Out-of-This-World Novels and Short Stories

Do you envision celestial cities in distant, fantastic worlds? Do you dream of mythical beasts and gallant quests in exotic kingdoms? If you have ever wanted to write the next great fantasy or science fiction story, this all-in-one comprehensive book will show you how. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction is full of advice from master authors offering definitive instructions on world building, character creation, and storytelling in the many styles and possibilities available to writers of speculative fiction.

Combining two Writer’s Digest classics, Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy and The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference, along with two new selections from award-winning science fiction and fantasy authors Philip Athans and Jay Lake, this new book provides the best of all worlds. You’ll discover: How to build, populate, and dramatize fantastic new worlds. How to develop dynamic and meaningful themes that will expand the cannon of sci-fi and fantasy storytelling. Exciting subgenres such as steampunk, as well as new developments in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. How to imbue your tales with historically accurate information about world cultures, legends, folklore, and religions. Detailed descriptions of magic rituals, fantastic weapons of war, clothing and armor, and otherworldly beasts such as orcs, giants, elves, and more. How societies, villages, and castles were constructed and operate on a day-to-day basis. Astounding methods of interstellar travel, the rules of starflight, and the realities and myths of scientific exploration. How to generate new ideas and graft them to the most popular themes and plot devices in sci-fi and fantasy writing. The boundaries of your imagination are infinite, but to create credible and thrilling fiction, you must ground your stories in rules, facts, and accurate ideas. Writing Fantasy &

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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Write, Publish, Promote. Words I am learning to live by. Want this to be your motto too? Join me and together we’ll navigate the path to publishing success.


  1. Caveat emptor I hope prospective buyers will notice that this is a reprint of two old books, Orson Scott Card’s “How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy”, first published way back in 1990; and “The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference”, first published in 2000. Sandwiched between them is an essay on steampunk and an essay on “The State of the Genre” (the latter written by a writer who has no real claim to be considered a serious writer or particularly successful within the genre in any case).

  2. Creating Speculative Fiction Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction (2013) is the latest edition of this work. It contains four parts, a bio of the authors, and an index. 

  3. invaluable resource I love this book. It took two books that I consider essential reference guides and consolidated them; also providing me with some additional information on the industry. The only thing I was disappointed by is that i m this volume cut out the section Card wrote on living as a writer. Card’s candid information should have been included.Overall, this was a great purchase, and I will be getting copies for some of my writer friends for Christmas.

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